I had been contemplating listening to The Lord of the Rings as an audiobook, as a way of forcing myself to pay attention to each word of a text that I must have read dozens of times. I tried The Hobbit first, because it's narrated by the same person, Rob Inglis.
I won't be listening to Lord of the Rings, either read by Inglis or at all. With regard to the Inglis versions, I just wouldn't be able to take the songs. It may be that my brain is corrupted by pop music, but the songs just sound all wrong—both the tunes the music is put to, and the way Inglis sings them. The idea of sitting through all of "Earendil was a mariner," which as I recall goes on for pages, very nearly gives me hives. But in general, the movies have given me specific ideas about how the characters sound, and hearing a different voice for Gandalf in The Hobbit was subtly jarring enough that I wouldn't look forward to hearing a whole trilogy's worth of different voices. I also have some pretty specific ideas about the phrasing of various lines, from having read the thing so often. I might have to exercise some discipline to really pay attention to the familiar text, but I think it's probably best to have it be just me and the text and no other voices.
As for The Hobbit itself, I haven't read it for quite a while, so it was interesting to note that it's actually fairly grim all the way through, even though I had the impression it's considered a relatively light book. I'd also forgotten the extent to which it's a cautionary tale against greed; and the extent to which the plot depends on fortuitous (or, perhaps, divine) circumstances. On a lighter note, Beorn was doing some major genetic modifications on those dogs of his to get them able to walk upright and carry things on their front paws—did Tolkien have a dog and realize just how ungainly they are on their hind legs?
#2 :: Kate wrote on August 19, 2005 at 4:45 PM:
#3 :: David Tate wrote on September 15, 2005 at 10:55 PM:
#4 :: Kate wrote on September 15, 2005 at 11:03 PM:
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